Budgies or parakeets love to play. Pet budgies need activities and socialisation with their human flocks to remain happy and healthy. Store-bought playgrounds can be pricey, but bird owners can make their own play stations. Making budgie playgrounds is a good project for kids because they can express their creativity, as well as nurture their pets. Choose materials that are chemical free and appropriately sized for your bird.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Wooden basket with an arched handle (no paint or varnish)
- Wooden embroidery hoop
- Cotton fabric or needle point canvas
- Small branches from bird-safe trees or shrubs
- Jute or plain cotton cord
- Nylon cable ties
- Fingernail file
- Cardboard tube from paper towels or toilet paper (chemical and perfume-free)
- Bird-safe wooden beads.
- Plain raffia without dye
- Colourful plastic buttons, ½-inch or larger
- Wooden clothespins
- Bird-safe bells
- Embroidery thread
- Embroidery needles
Wash branches with soap and water and allow to dry. Use a wooden basket with an arched handle for the playground base. Cut two lengths of jute or string. Tie the strings to the ends of a piece of branch. Tie the other end of the strings to the top of the basket handle to make a swing.
Use cable ties or string to tie a branch across the top of the handle to form a perch. Tie additional branches on the sides of the handle to make steps and extra perches.
Use string or cable ties to attach one leg of a clothespin to the side of the handle to make a treat holder. Trim the cable ties. Smooth any sharp edges of cable ties with a fingernail file.
Cover an inexpensive, unfinished embroidery hoop with a piece of fabric. Slide the outer hoop over it to make the fabric taut. Trim the fabric.
Thread embroidery needles with lengths of colourful embroidery thread. Do not tie a knot in the thread. Leave the tails free. From the front side of the hoop, make one stitch down and back up, leaving a 2-inch to 3-inch tail on the front side. Attach a button to the thread and tie the tails together so the button is very loose. The budgie should be able to pull and flip the button, but not get tangled in the thread.
Cut several ½-inch slices from the cardboard tube to make rings. Attach several wooden beads, buttons, cardboard rings and bells to the fabric. Leave some parts unattached for the bird to carry and toss.
Tips and warnings
- Make small raffia pom-poms and attach to the playgrounds or leave them as loose toys your bird can carry around.
- Paint and varnish can poison birds, so be sure all materials are unfinished and bird-safe.
- Do not allow budgies to chew on metal embroidery hoop parts.
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